im going to do a research paper for my "language and culture" anthropology class on boxing. i need some good texts focusing on the culture of boxing. it would really help me out if you guys could recommend anything. thanks
websites will work as well.
theres a bunch of Bert Sugar books that would probably be good. And maybe this one George Plimpton book, if I remember the name, Ill post it. Cant think of it right now.
thanks for all the recommendations guys.
IN THIS CORNER -- 43 Worlds Champions Tell
I don't know how deep you want to go into the rabbit hole, but here are some links I like:
http://ejmas.com/jmanly/ covering "Western Martial Arts" between 1776 and 1914
http://ahfaa.org/unarmed.htm the American Heritage Fighting Arts Association boxing and wrestling page
both contain links to several other interesting sites
I find particularly informative regarding the "culture" of pugilism the articles about Irish and Southern faction fighting http://ahfaa.org/irish.htm and http://www.rootsweb.com/~irlker/faction.html "Gangs of New York" type stuff, although that may be going deeper than you want
"Rope Burns" by F.X. Toole. Excellent place to start.
For a paper, try some more-or-less scholarly sources:
Gerald Early, "The Culture of Bruising"
Jeffrey Sammons, "Beyond the Ring"
George Plimpton, "Shadow Box"
Elliot Gorn, "The Manly Art" (bare-knuckle era);
Joyce Carol Oates, "On Boxing";
Loic Wacquant, "Body and Soul";
A. J. Liebling, various titles.
Also worth a look might be some first-hand type accounts (either people who have themselves boxed as either amateurs or professionals or have observed the fight game up-close):
Anasi, "The Gloves";
Hauser, "Black Lights";
Rendell, "This Bloody Mary...";
Rotella, "Cut Time", etc.
If you're going to talk about the culture of boxing as represented in fiction, there's a ton of good stuff out there. Maybe start with Budd Schulberg's "The Harder They Fall" and don't miss F.X. O'Toole's "Rope Burns" (short stories).
You might also think about focusing on the culture of the boxing fan, as opposed to the culture of boxing itself. There are a few books where people talk about why they like to watch boxing; when it's well done, that's a very interesting topic (see Oates, Rotella; if you're going to go this route, let me know and I'll look up a few others, including really good British one form a couple of years ago).
Orchid punched out the correct. Wow.
A few years back, Sports Illustrated published "The Book of Boxing" edited by WC Heinz. They include a little of everything-- from all the great sportswriters, to fiction from Hemmingway to Homer, all the way to excerpts from Lord Byron and Daniel Mendoza's memoirs.
Trust me: you WILL find something useful.
I'd look at some alternative perspectives too. The Muhammad Ali Reader has some excellent writing. Eldridge Cleaver's Soul on Ice has a chapter about Liston, Ali, and Patterson-- which is also the subject of Remnick's oustanding "King of the World".
Oates' book is another great read.
"Black lights" by Thomas Hauser is a good one
IN THE CORNER by dave anderson
not to be confused with IN THIS CORNER
i just picked this up last night, it's a book about 10-15 trainers and their stories.